This simple banner slogan, found plastered across the entrance into Verbum Dei’s campus ministry office, is a declaration of excitement and pride about Verbum Dei’s recent 50th anniversary celebration. While others were worrying about Carmageddon II, more than 300 alumni, former faculty, family and friends joined in the all-school reunion festivities on the Verbum Dei campus.Led by masters of ceremonies Pete Morado (class of 1966) and Ernie Chavez (class of 1971), participants celebrated the rich history of academic excellence and the glory of athletic championships throughout the decades. Equally significant was the 10-year anniversary of Verbum Dei’s award winning Corporate Work Study program that not only stabilized the school financially, but helped students to earn their own tuition while gaining invaluable work experience. “Legend of Verb Awards” were bestowed on four historical giants, including Divine Word Missionary Father James Henry, the sole surviving founding priest of Verbum Dei; Diving Word Missionary Father Francis Shigo, who spent over 30 years at Verb; Coach Lalo Mendoza, who taught and coached champions for over 30 years; and Jesuit Father Scott Santarosa, who helped a determined team of Jesuit priests transform Verbum Dei with the fledgling Corporate Work Study program.A liturgy was celebrated by Verbum Dei’s president, Jesuit Father William Muller, who proclaimed the good news of Verbum Dei as an institution of hope in Watts.Dan O’Connell, principal of Verbum Dei, acknowledged the incredible foundation that prior faculty, administration, students and archdiocesan leadership had provided leading up to this moment, and invited participants to forge an alliance for a bright future for the next 50 years.Before the celebration concluded with a festive brunch, people joined in the blessing of the beautiful new stained glass windows created by artist Barbara Nichols, which depict the Divine Word Missionaries and the Jesuits as partners in building and staffing Verbum Dei.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1026/olaverb/{/gallery}